FAIRFIELD Villa boss Wayne Davis says the cups will offer the chance to salvage a disappointing start to their league season.
Davis believes there are signs Fairfield are starting to find form after a stuttering, injury-hit start to the season and there were more positives from their performance despite a 2-1 defeat to Midland League Division Two table-toppers NKF Burbage last weekend.
But with Fairfield already 17 points behind the leaders Davis admits the cups offer their best opportunity of success this term.
Tomorrow (Saturday), they entertain Division Three side Birmingham Tigers (1.45pm) in the second round of the Les James Challenge Cup in what Davis describes as a “massive game”.
Then later this month Fairfield will tackle Malvern Town Under-21s in the Worcestershire Junior Cup, having been handed a reprieve after being knocked out by Worcester City U21s. City were then booted out for fielding an ineligible player.
“It has been a tough start, we’ve missed key players through injuries but now we are starting to get a few players back,” said Davis. “Our league form has let us down but hopefully we can start to put together a run in the two cups we are left in. The cups are an opportunity to get some silverware.
“Saturday is a massive game for us against Birmingham Tigers considering how poorly we have started the league campaign. We need to consolidate our league form and create some momentum via the cups.”
Fairfield have only won twice in the league, but they proved against Burbage, who lost once in 11 matches, they can approach the next few matches in upbeat mood. Burbage led 2-0 before Lewis Phillips pulled a goal back, while Connor Collins was named man of the match.
“A draw would have been a fair result but we couldn’t knock the players for their efforts. We’ve played the top of the table side and we didn’t look out of place,” said Davis.
“The difference was that Burbage took their chances. We had plenty of opportunities but didn’t convert them.”
Fairfield expect to introduce a new recruit against the Tigers, with former Whitby Town and Scarborough Athletic player Liam Davis set for his debut. The attacking midfielder has moved to the area and his arrival could ease the loss of Pete Jenvey, who has been ruled out with a knee injury. After a doctor examined Jenvey, he has now been referred to see a specialist.
“Midfield is an area where we’ve been looking to strengthen with the players we’ve had to rule out,” said Davis. “Hopefully Liam will bring us that little bit more creativity.”
Davis will also have centre midfielder James McKeown and winger-midfielder Alex Dugmore back in contention.